Lisa Kunkle is an accomplished C-suite executive with over 15 years of experience in the specialty chemicals industry. She is currently senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for Avient Corporation (formerly PolyOne Corporation) (NYSE: AVNT), a premier provider of specialized and sustainable material solutions. As a member of Avient’s executive leadership team, Lisa works with the Board and management in setting the strategic direction for the Company and is responsible for executing that strategic vision. She is experienced in merger and acquisition transactions, ESG and sustainability matters, risk assessment and mitigation, regulatory and legal compliance, government affairs, environmental management, team building, and change management. She is the Company lead and go-to expert in corporate governance matters, and also provides counsel on executive and director compensation programs, takeover preparedness, corporate compliance issues and more.
Fifteen years ago, Avient embarked on a specialty transformation that included a significant amount of M&A activity. During her tenure at Avient, Lisa has completed over 23 transactions, ranging in size from $6 million to $1.5 billion, including both acquisitions and divestitures. This transformation resulted in Avient shifting from a volume-driven, commodity-based company heavily tied to cyclical end markets, to a specialty growth company focused on sustainability and innovative products, selling to specialty end markets like healthcare, packaging and electronics. During this transformation, Lisa was dedicated to building and maintaining relationships among, and providing support and guidance to, all stakeholders, including management and the Board of Directors. Dedicated to collaboration and incorporating diverse viewpoints, Lisa’s team consistently received the highest engagement scores within the Company.
Before joining Avient in 2007, Lisa was a partner with Jones Day, where she specialized in the areas of corporate and securities law and advised on various compensation and governance matters. She served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, before joining Jones Day in 1995.
Lisa serves on the Board of Trustees for Cleveland State University, Magnificat High School and the Cleveland Leadership Center. Leveraging her expertise in corporate governance, she serves on the Governance Committee of all of these organizations, and is the Treasurer and Chair of the Financial Affairs Committee for Cleveland State University.
Lisa’s business training includes the Executive Education Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2011) and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Miami University (1990), where she graduated with honors. In 2020, Lisa was the ACG Cleveland Deal Makers Award Winner and, in 2015, Lisa was the Crain’s General and In-House Counsel Award Winner – Public Company Category. Her law degree is from the University of Toledo, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Moot Court Board. She also served as an Editor of the Law Review.